Ask successful internet entrepreneurs what it takes to create a successful business online, and the majority will say that it takes a great deal of hard work and perseverance to succeed.

Earlier this year, I read Daniel Scocco’s post at Daily Blog Tips on the working methods of 12 top online entrepreneurs.

A successful Internet entrepreneur himself, Daniel interviewed twelve well known and successful online entrepreneurs to find out what their typical work week looked like, and what they enjoyed doing when not working.

The line up of successful online entrepreneurs included Darren Rowse, Aaron Wall, Neil Patel, Yaro Starak, Chris Garrett and Collis Ta’eed. The interviews revealed that the majority of these entrepreneurs worked over 60 hours a week, 7 days a week. One entrepreneur – Dan Schawbel – works a staggering 110 hours a week.

Being an internet entrepreneur is hard work, and Collis at Envato makes no bones about this in his course on building a blog business. Here’s a few relevant quotes from the eBook, “How to Build a Successful Blog Business”:

“So building a business out of blogging, like any business, involves investment both in time and money.”

“Like any business, it will take hard work, dedication, savvy, and a bit of luck.”

“There are bloggers making considerable amounts of money, and in fact two of the case studies in this book record how two blogs have worked their way into five and six-figures per month in revenue. However, like most things in life, it takes a lot of work.”

Tim Ferris provides a different take on how to succeed as an entrepreneur. In his book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich, Tim portrays an enticing picture of the new breed entrepreneurial lifestyle.

The book provides advice to aspiring web entrepreneurs based along the lines of decide on the type of lifestyle that you aspire to (whether it is having mini retirements, traveling around the world, etc), then set up your business and outsource as many tasks as possible to successfully run your business on auto pilot. Tim mentions “outsourcing your life”, which includes the whole kit and caboodle – both business and personal tasks such as hiring a virtual assistant to organize your errands.

Outsourcing parts of your business can be a great strategy, but one that needs careful management.

If your business chooses to outsource some of its activities, a part of your time or someone else’s will still be required to manage projects, and hire staff and/or freelancers to contribute to the business.

As a founder or co-founder of your web business, you have the important task of driving its strategic direction. You wouldn’t want your business to be completely run on auto pilot without any input from yourself.

This brings to question a related issue about what sort of lifestyle an entrepreneur has. Will you have a dreaded lifestyle that consists of working relentless long hours with little time for recreation? Or will you have a leisurely lifestyle that consists of working only a few hours a day?

To avoid ending up with a lifestyle that doesn’t appeal, have a think about your desired lifestyle before starting your online business.

Sterling and Jay at the Internet Business Mastery Academy, well known for their Internet business and marketing podcasts, are keen advocates of teaching entrepreneurs to design their lifestyle before starting up an online business.

The guys at the Academy describe three essential pillars to help you design your lifestyle. They are as follows:

  • Decide on your major purpose in life (they use the term “Definite Major Purpose”)
  • What are your fulfillment factors?
  • What does your ideal lifestyle look like?

Running an online business which deals with local businesses on a regular basis would pose a conflict if your desired lifestyle is to be location independent and travel overseas for half the year.

Another example is where a well known copywriter exited from his lucrative business to pursue a more semi passive web business model. This copywriter cited the loss of family time on weekends, and the constant pressure to meet tight deadlines, as reasons for his decision.

The above examples demonstrate the importance of seeking a good alignment between your web business and lifestyle.

Regardless of the lifestyle you have in mind, it takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and effort to transform a fledgling start up into a successful web business. Consider what your desired lifestyle is, and whether it will match the realities of your online business, before taking the plunge to become a web entrepreneur.